On 29 June 2023, Deforestation-free Products Regulation ((EU) 2023/1115) entered into force with the aim of minimising the EU’s contribution to deforestation and forest degradation worldwide. Combating deforestation and forest degradation constitutes an important part of the package of measures needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global biodiversity loss.
The Act No. 497/2022 Coll. on the screening of foreign investments and on amendments and supplements to certain acts, as amended, and Slovak Government Regulation No. 61/2023 Coll. establish critical foreign investments rules (the "FDI legislation"). In cooperation with the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic (the "Ministry") we have prepared an overview of some practical issues in connection with the FDI legislation.
The Green Deal for Europe aims to boost the efficient use of resources, helps to keep sustainable environment policy and transforms particular economies of the EU countries by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by rebuilding immovables in order to reach higher level of energy sustainability, by introducing products with longer sustainability time, by developing products that may be easily recycled, by combating global deforestation, and much more.
Today, the majority of large companies produce sustainability reports covering their ESG practices. However, one major obstacle to voluntary ESG reporting is the inconsistency of the shared information Companies have the liberty to select their ESG reporting framework and decide what information to disclose, which results in difficulties for investors and other stakeholders to compare ESG risks and impacts uniformly.
The European Commission is preparing a new regulation on so-called green bonds, the draft for which is already in its final form and should be approved by the European Parliament shortly. The regulation will allow issuers to issue bonds under the unified designation "European green bond", in exchange for compliance by issuers with certain conditions and obligations related to the financing of their sustainable projects.
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court ruled on the validity of a provision in an agreement on a future agreement and which provided for an "automatic" transfer of the ownership title to the object of the sale if the future agreement was not concluded within a certain period of time. Essentially, both an agreement on a future agreement, which anticipated the subsequent conclusion of the transfer agreement, and a conditional transfer agreement itself were included in one document. The Supreme Court found that such an arrangement did not invalidate the agreement.
The Office for the Protection of Competition has recently published the results of a sectoral investigation in the pharmaceutical sector. The sectoral investigation is a tool used by both, national competition authorities and the European Commission to comprehensively investigate competition rules in a given sector, especially if they suspect that competition rules are being violated.
If you need statistical data maintained by the National Health Information System for your work or scientific research, whether demographic data on births or deaths, statistics on cancer patients, information on assisted reproduction or other information, you will be interested in a landmark decision of the Constitutional Court.
For the last couple of months, we have all experienced a shortage of certain pharmaceuticals on the market, especially antibiotics or pharmaceuticals for fever reduction for children. Given that this situation reoccurs almost every flu season, the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic has newly established a formal working group monitoring the availability of pharmaceuticals on the market. The Ministry of Health is also preparing the amendment to the Act on Pharmaceuticals so that it can, on its own or in cooperation with the State Institute for Drug Control („SUKL“), better respond to urgent drug shortages in case of crisis situations.
In April 2022 deputies of the Slovak parliament, approved two long-awaited laws: Act No 200/2022 on zoning (‘the Zoning Act’); and Act No 201/2022 on construction (‘the Construction Act’). These two laws are about to replace the 1976 Building Act. Although they do not take effect until 1 April 2024, they bring such fundamental changes that need to be considered right away, in particular by the developers and real estate investment funds. The most significant of these changes are summarised below.
Thanks to its qualities - environmental friendliness and a wide range of applications, hydrogen occupies an increasingly central place as an energy carrier. Focus on its use, and in particular on the use of green hydrogen, is also placed at European Union (“EU”) level, where in a number of acts, it is considered an important factor for decarbonization, fulfillment of the global goals of the Paris Agreement and achievement of carbon neutrality until 2050. The reason is that both hydrogen and electricity can be generated from greenhouse gas neutral sources addressing climate change and air quality issues. To deploy green hydrogen and turn it into a viable solution to decarbonize, a lot of investments and a favorable regulatory framework are required.